Over 30 years after the end of communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Central and Southeast Europe face many challenges to continued economic and democratic development. Central Europe has experienced elements of democratic backsliding in the last ten years, which takes place in the context of a wider global democratic recession. The economies of Central and Eastern Europe are also seeking to develop new economic models as the global economy takes steps toward near-shoring, sustainability, and digitization. In response to these challenges and opportunities, in 2021 CIPE launched its Europe office in Bratislava, Slovakia to expand upon its long-standing work in the region and to represent CIPE’s holistic activities across Europe, including with European and Euro-Atlantic institutions.

How We Support Democracy in the Region

CIPE empowers democratically oriented business associations, chambers of commerce, economic policy think tanks, and civil society groups. CIPE’s approach is to listen to the priorities of its partners and to provide them the tools and approaches to accomplish their priorities based on local conditions and in cooperation with local decision-makers.

CIPE supports its private sector partners in three primary ways:

  1. Provides financing to strengthen capacity of private sector actors to engage in advocacy on democratic and market-oriented reforms.
  2. Connects like-minded democratic stakeholders from within and outside the region to facilitate knowledge-sharing and coalitions of collective action.
  3. Offers business associations and civil society groups technical training on skills like anti-corruption compliance, public-private dialogue, advocacy, coalition building, and business integrity.

Active Programs

  • Strengthen Local Democracy: CIPE advances sub-national democratic dialogue in Central Europe by strengthening the capacity of business leaders at the municipal and regional level to engage in dialogue and advocacy for transparent, accountable governance.
  • Promote Business Integrity and Compliance: CIPE works to strengthen the capacity of the private sector to comply with national and international legislation and best practices, champion business integrity, and to advocate for rule of law.
  • Enhance Resilience to Economic Coercion: In collaboration with CIPE’s Center for Accountable Investment, CIPE plays an active role in educating and engaging the business community on critical discussions about  safeguarding economies against authoritarian economic coercion,  boosting economic resilience, and  addressing the threats of corrosive capital to national security and public order.
  • Support a Healthy Information Sphere: CIPE works to highlight the important equities of the private sector in a healthy and independent media sector. CIPE produces thought leadership on best practices in financing independent media, supports collective action by business and civil society to support independent media, and hosts international convenings to share best practices on how the business sector can protect media freedom in Europe.
  • Advance Women’s Economic Empowerment: CIPE advances economic inclusion by strengthening networks of women entrepreneurs and business leaders with a particular focus on promoting women in leadership, supporting women in technology, combating (online) gender-based violence, and fostering women, peace, and security.
  • Promote Democratic Governance of Technologies: CIPE empowers private sector and civil society partners in the region in their efforts to advocate for policies that promote ethical and democratic governance of emerging technologies.